The truth is rarely pure and never simple. ~ Oscar Wilde
Necessity Defense of Institutional Memory
by Camille Rankine
So the free may remain free
say the nightmare is
so we are preserved
he who believes takes a life
so a life may be saved
the girl becomes an object
so the greatest devastation occurs
let go her fingers their slim cleave
so I may be replaced
by a machine which in its violence behaves
more like me
the longer you live the more these lies
so the past splits in two:
one stays in the past and dies
one past shapeshifts walks with you.
This World is Only Going to Break Your Heart
by Corey Van Landingham
Space has been shut off for summer, etc.
In the last shuttle launched,
I am told to love a piece of earth. Then metal.
Then the optics behind the things I hold
in my hand.
I am told: be simple. Only love
what you can bear to break in half.
Evenings I spar with a giant insect
that while I fall asleep wants to comb my hair.
Into the ear on the floor it croons,
You are the most delicious industrial revolution.
Paintings I have pilfered adhere to the ceiling,
so that when I feel like walking
I walk under ponds with lily pads like drowned hats,
all the eyes I can't see hidden above them now, about to burst.
I don't often feel like walking,
having heard the announcement
that I am stuck out here with Decisions To Make.
What graffiti will be unbirthed.
Which hills will turn white with bones. Pathogens.
When I flinch
into an unimpressive sleep, I will dislodge some
unimpressive planet with a terrain that shakes
under a red sky like a syphilitic man. A man
with the feet of a goat. I try not to sleep.
There is day,
then there is later day.
When an equation prints out
onto my tongue, I do my best to solve it.
Sure, there are things that I miss.
The idea of brothers. Distinguished dogs with cauldrons
of summer saliva.
Once, I even felt holy.
It was at the throes of an orange tree.
I could have been stoned to death and still would have sung out
Tongue! Barren tongue!
There were ghosts up here. But they were shut off
long ago, when I tried to put my arms around them
and was told I'd have to choose between
the slaughterhouse and the morgue.
I retaliated with apathy. I cut off my ears.
Pixel My Heart OutsideFate